Friday, October 31, 2008

Fifa World Player of the Year

Drum roll please..

The winner will be announced January 12th so plenty of time for debate.

So here is the list in all its glory. Marked in different shades of red are my favorites and my reasons why below:

  • Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal and Togo)
  • Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid and Argentina)
  • Andrei Arshavin (Zenit St Petersburg and Russia)
  • Michael Ballack (Chelsea and Germany)
  • Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus and Italy)
  • Iker Casillas (Real Madrid and Spain)
  • Deco (Chelsea and Portugal)
  • Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast)
  • Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona and Cameroon)
  • Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal and Spain)
  • Steven Gerrard (Liverpool and England)
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan and Sweden)
  • Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain)
  • Kaka (AC Milan and Brazil)
  • Frank Lampard (Chelsea and England)
  • Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
  • Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich and France)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United and Portugal)
  • John Terry (Chelsea and England)
  • Fernando Torres (Liverpool and Spain)
  • Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid and Netherlands)
  • David Villa (Valencia and Spain)
  • Xavi (Barcelona and Spain).
Andrei Arshavin
If football is about entertainment, then we have to give a tip of the hat to the Russian play maker. He captivated us in Euro 2008 with his brilliant midfield awareness. Pulling Russia out of their rough start, he single-handedly changed the Russian team from a boring lull against Spain to a powerful total football team that silenced one of the most impressive Dutch teams in years. What impressed me so much about his performance in the Euro was his ability to breathe life into the team and inspire his teammates with beautifully strung together passes. And lets not forget, he helped Zenit lift the Russian Prem trophy for the first time in a long time
Ikre Casillas
Deep down in my heart, I think Casillas should win this. First of all, he has all the credentials. Top of La Liga,won Euro 2008, he did everything he needed to for club and country. He kept a clean sheet on the Euro final, and did some awe-inspiring saves in the 2007-08 season of La Liga. He communicates as a strong leader for his back line and saved Spain against Italy when Buffon could not.
If you can win La Liga, win the Euro and beat the supposed
best keeper in the world with a magnificent save in a Semi-Final match then I think you can qualify for player of the world.

He won last year. He is amazing. But not as good as last year + injury stuff = probably not going to get it. Not really sure why I put him on here, if he wins it really will be by grace of god.

The most exciting player in the world to watch right now. He is what Ronahdinho was 3 years ago. He boggles your mind and baffles defenders with his movement and motion with the ball.
Because he has generally been seen as the highest standard of creative quality within the football community this year, this makes him a strong contender. He will be in the top 3 for sure.

Cristiano Ronaldo
He was on fire in the EPL this year. Absolutely unstoppable. Then came the summer. Everyone held their breath to see him play in Scolari's Portugal, but he did not deliver the caliber of play fans have expected from him. We hoped to see him blow through Turkish defenders and dismantle the entire Swiss team...he didn't. Then came that messy transfer drama with Real Madrid. This really put me off. I'm not sure if Fifa takes into consideration a players off the pitch behavior when considering these nominees, but for me, he didn't display the kind of professionalism in his career that a player of his level should.

All my whining and bellyaching aside, the guys a genius, and many regard him as a favorite to win this reward.

Fernado Torres

Looking up at my list, most of these are "creative midfielders". Its always easy to pick the midfielder. They have long ranged shots that impress and there aren't high expectations on them to put away the goals. That being said, Torres was the most dangerous striker in the EPL this year. He was absolutely on fire and was a menace for any defender. Top striker on this list for sure, but it will be a squeeze for him to get in the top 3.

My top 3:

1. Casillas
2. Messi
3. Ronaldo

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday Photoshop Roundup

Just when I thought my photoshopping skills were at least decent. I have been put to shame by the guardian's readers.

I found this one of the better photoshopping galleries on the Guardian, featuring none other than Lady's Love David B:

Beckham Photoshop Extravaganza

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One Good Strike Deserves Another

Lampy boy did this today as well.

He's still got it! Or meant to cross it to Anelka...ughh you be the judge.

Ljungberg to Seattle

The MLS's newest expansion team: the Seattle Sounders just signed the ex-Arsenal man for around 20 million bucks.

Further proof that the only way the MLS will ever entertain anyone is by sending soccer moms into a Hagen Daas-like state of sexual explosion by watching the latest MLS stars promote American products.

And thats all I have to say about that.

Arsenal 4 - 4 Spurs

Everything you could ever want in a football match. This was an absolute barn burner!

Where do I start.

Ahh yes. Definitely goal of the season: David Bently cracks one over top of the keeper from about 40 yards out. There was no way Almunia could have ever seen it coming, or could have ever prevented it even if he did.

1 - 0 Spurs.

Moments later Arsenal used their physical prowess to score this textbook header off a corner:

...and then went to do same thing again:

Spurs are so brutal at simple defending. Redknapp, get these boys to work!

From here on, Spurs were looking absolutely frightened. Clichy was taking complete control of the midfield. Modric and the entire Tottenham team could not get a single touch on the ball for what seemed like eternity. And then...

GAME OVER SPURS. It seemed impossible for Spurs to come back from this. Arsenal was out classing them, out muscling them and Harry Redknapp's team was really being put to shame. It seemed as though Arsenal could have scored whenever they felt the need. Spurs were damaged goods at this point. Such has been their season.

And then some tricky deflections outside the box and spurs had another one! Seemingly out of nowhere!

Just when Spurs were making some forward momentum and starting to get out of their rut Hutton makes a horrible defensive mistake that ends up with Van Persie sending the ball Sccrreeeaming into the back of the net:

I think there was some weird Buddhist Karma thing going on at the Emirates tonight. Because what came around, went around for these teams tonight. Another Defensive blunder, this time by Clichy. This must have been an act of God for spurs. Followed by an absolutely lovely goal by Jenas:

By no means did Spurs look good tonight. In fact, most of the times they looked horrible. But after this goal Arsenal were definitely not playing with the same kind of confidence they were throughout the rest of the game. They seemed a shell of what they once were at the beginning of the second half. It seemed like a lovely pipe dream that Tottenham could come back to tie it up. But when 4 minutes of added time were put on the clock and Arsenal looking cold on their feet. Luka Modric's shot hit the woodwork and was tucked away by Lennon.

This was the best damn game I've seen in years. Holy....fuck. With all drama surrounding spurs and the way they have been playing lately no one could have fathomed such a wonderful display.

The absolute talent that has been wasting away in this team always pops its head up now and then. I cannot imagine what would happen if Harry Redknapp could harness the star power Spurs has and turn it into a well functioning tactical team.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Liverpool Impressions

In case you haven't seen this floating around.

In light of Liverpool's ascent to the top of the Premier League and perhaps in memory of Peter Crouch who is now left without his big Brother Harry Redknapp.

Hate this guy...but gaddamn


If it was ever possible to have more contempt for the pretty-boy-wonder millionaire in football, its hard to surpass Christiano Ronaldo. But ever since September, I have had a hard time getting myself to fathom the story of Robinho, but I think we have ourselves a contender for the top scorer of the Prem this year.

In case you were too busy watching the top 4 all weekend, there were actually some games on with more than two goals being scored. Three coming from the wonder boy Brazilian this weekend against Stoke:

Lets take a look:

1st Goal: Pretty basic. He's in a great position and places the ball perfectly. This is what Chelsea is having problems with. Anelka and Malouda are finding themselves in these kinds of positions and botching them constantly. Robinho keeps his cool and delivers.

2nd Goal: Please, close your eyes for the celebration: hes one cocky little bugger and its annoying. But look how well he sambas around his defenders in order to get into position for goal. This is the kind of fluid play you would expect from a player who has just been snatched up from La Liga.

3rd: Not afraid to pull the trigger from distance. Pure class. Pure power.

With Drogba and Torres being benched substantially this year, and with Berbatov, Keane and Adebayor being lukewarm and inconsistant so far, I really think Robinho has contention for top scorer this year. Shame on Chelsea for not shelling out the big bucks for this guy.

Love him or hate him, he is pulling off results and has a unique passion for the game which is beautiful and entertaining. His dramatics are pulling in great results for City already, but without the support of a well rounded team, it will be difficult for them to compete in the top four positions.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chelsea 0 - 1 Liverpool

Chelsea's 86 game unbeaten streak at home was ended today by a little bit of luck on the side of Liverpool, and a lackluster performance by Chelsea.

Now I want to concentrate on this man:

I think Ronaldinho might have some competition for the ugliest man in football, but despite his rapist-like exterior, Mr. Bosingwa has all of a sudden become the center-pin for Chelsea's offensive movements. But has this really benefited the squad? Ever since Scolari showed up he has been praised for their stylish Brazilian theme.

But are they really that stylish? All I saw today was the Chelsea defense and midfield just passing it off to Bosingwa to lob the ball into the center of the box? Is the Brazilian creativity or a step back to the English long-ball game?

And without Drogba in the center there really wasn't any clear targets for Bosingwa to connect with today. Each delivery turned out to be an awkward game of pachinko within the Liverpool penalty area.

There has been much praise over the Brazilian's new style, but what really made Chelsea special was their ability to slug out and come out with at least a tie *hence the unbeaten streak*. Perhaps this game really shows an example of the way Scolari's Chelsea will look; flashy, younger more stylish but in the end: beatable and breakable.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Paperchase: Becks to Milan?

So the wonder boy is at it again. When he isn't posing for advertisements for sharpie or kids cough medicine he is taking serious moves to improve his game.

Okay, so here's the deal. Milan want him on a free loan come January. Hrm, I wonder why? Maybe the surge of jersey sales from Ronaldinho and other endorsements got the Italian Giants thirsty for more.

This is all fine with me, people have to make their money but what I am concerned about is it's effects on the MLS and the LA Galaxy. Beck's vision of coming to the United States to become an ambassador for soccer worked brilliantly, especially here in Toronto where you could here the buzz of becks coming to town months in advance. Not only does this get all the soccer mom's hot and bothered, the guys pulls in a guarantee sell out at BMO field.

VP of Milan, Andriano Galliani stated

"Football today is about full stadiums and sponsors and superstars like Beckham fill them up. With him, Kaka and Ronaldinho, it will be a dream team"

True...true. But what about Beck's crusade in America? Is that all but gone? And if it is, can the MLS really come up with another superstar of Beckham's caliber? Or will the MLS and LA Galaxy have to continue to play on home grown and South American talent?

In all honesty, I think Becks fit well in the MLS. In LA Galaxy, not so much. Well no one could they suck so bad. But a move to the Rossoneri would just be...ughh..lame. After all the talk, sponsorships and grassroots support for soccer in the U.S, Becks was really helping out. Now he could pack it up to pursue dreams of stardom once again, whether its to get more caps for England, or really to razzle dazzle the Serie A.

Now there's lots of speculation and gibber-gabber the Football world. So I'm going to sift this one out and call what I think is going to happen.

Likelyhood of this deal going down: 7.5/10

Becks isn't that Happy in LA. Especially with all the crappy management going on at LAG. He has spent half of his LA career flying back to England to get caps on Capello's squad. And when has Beckham NOT followed the money? I think this could be a serious problem for the MLS though, loosing their star power will lose them lots of media support and attention.